I recently received a link on a blog by Mark Vruno, editor of Quick Printing, which spoke about the pervasiveness of print and the size of our industry. I did have a bit of a problem with him stating that print is a $640 Billion industry – unless he’s including EVERYTHING under that umbrella (USPS, ad agencies, publishers, newspaper, etc., etc.) Regardless, it’s an interesting – and valid position. BUT, we need to remember that the vast majority of people (non-printers) are totally oblivious to Mark’s points.
This article is preaching to the choir, and it’s sad to say, but the choir does not have the dollars or the energy to stop the train from moving down the tracks. Case in point. Read this article by David Carr, which was published yesterday by the New York Times, which means that it got a lot more eyeballs than Mark’s column! If you read the entire NY Times post, you realize that the article is not saying that print is dead – but the newspaper industry is continuing to change. Yet, if one stops reading at the first few paragraphs, the message is one of a decaying industry.
The reality – in my mind – is that we cannot stop the changes in communications because we think it’s unfair to our industry. We MUST adapt and move forward – which many in our industry are doing!
We need to grasp that our roots in print can provide real opportunities. Some might be in digital media (mobile apps, web pages, etc.) as a recent article by Richard Romano in Quick Printing suggested, while in some cases it’s the ancillary products (mail, fulfillment, etc.) which can help us bring value to our customers. And that takes me to the heart of the matter.
Whether it’s print, digital media, or other services, the successful business men and women of our industry provide services which help their customers thrive – regardless of media or print process. We can no longer say, “If it’s not putting ink on paper, we don’t do it.”